As the popularity of Greenways increases and the health and economic benefits of Greenways becomes more recognised, more and more funding opportunities are becoming available for the development of new Greenway corridors.
In 2016 a Greenway Strategy was developed by the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland. The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport published their Greenway Strategy for the Republic of Ireland in July 2018. Both documents stress the importance of strategic planning ensure Local Authorities are ready to apply for and secure funding for more Greenway developments.
In 2016 Waterways Ireland brought together the Local Authorities of Monaghan, Cavan, Fermanagh, Armagh and Tyrone to develop proposals for an Ulster Canal Greenway Network. Rather than focusing only on the route of the Ulster Canal, the proposed greenway network has been extended to link to other major towns and cities in the Region making use of disused railway corridors as well as the disused Ulster Canal.
For a clearer overview of the route click here for a quick power point presentation; UCG Network Graphic.
The proposed phased development has 12 different sections and is almost 190km in length.This will cater for local communities, commuters, domestic visitors and foreign tourists through the intimate drumlin and lakeland landscapes of mid-Ulster—a land of myths and poets, where gentle spirits will find sustenance and lovers of life will flourish.
This development will see an investment in the ‘Borderlands’ – Ireland’s undiscovered gem, where time slows down to a walking pace and people are connecting once more with nature, and with all that is natural including sustainable transport, biodiversity, ethical food production, eating local produce and living well.
The organisations involved are preparing to publish a ‘Strategic Development Plan’ and a ‘Strategic Environmental Assessment’ for the Ulster Canal Greenway network. These strategic plans will assist in applying for and securing funding for future phases of the network.
The Monaghan Town Greenway is Phase 1 of the network, and the INTERREG VA funded project between Smithborough and Middletown is Phase 2 of the network.